Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Paul does not realize that on multiple occasions he objectifies his wife Camille. In Camille's perspective, Paul uses her to receive a pay increase and obtain job security from the American producer that hires him. Paul insists that Camille drives with the producer to his cottage and he will arrive by taxi. This makes Camille feel as if Paul was renting her out for the benefit of his career. However, Camille does not communicate her feelings to Paul, instead she plays mind games and does not tell Paul what is bothering her. She acts strange and dramatic, but never tells Paul her feelings. She is incredibly indecisive on whether or not she wants Paul to take the movie. She initially tells him no, but when Paul mentions paying off the apartment she agrees with the decision to say yes to the movie. She changes her mind multiple times and finally claims she supports Paul's career and wants him to take the job. On the film set, Paul again sends Camille to be alone with the American producer. This time Camille kisses the producer in front of Paul, apparently to try and hurt him as much as he hurt her. Before she runs off with the producer (for good), she finally explains to Paul his wrong doings. She claims that the worst part of Paul's actions were the fact that he did not know what he was doing.

As a male I did not see Paul's actions as threatening or demeaning. I felt that he simply had trust in his wife; he did not demand that she went with the producer, he simply agreed when asked. Until I was given an explanation I did not know why Camille was acting as if she did not love Paul. I could not understand how he had wronged her and was looking forward to the explanation.

This is one of Godard's most honest films that I have watched thus far. In my opinion, it's honesty was comical. Paul had no idea what he did wrong and Camille was so angry that she left him. This shows that most of the time men do not completely understand woman. I found it humorous because there has been many times that my girlfriend was mad at me, but would not tell me why or even admit that she was angry. The film depicted a reality that is not always seriously looked at.

Sunday, November 23, 2008


If we must categorize "Alphaville" it would be placed in the genre of science fiction. Alphaville is a city on an un-named planet that is controlled by an enormous computer. The computer thinks analytically and dictates Alphaville with pure logic. The citizens are punished and executed for basic emotions and feelings. In Alphaville, dictionaries and literature are controlled and words that strike emotion are eliminated. Lemmy Caution, a detective from planet earth, was sent to this strange place to prevent a declaration of war on earth. He must battle the heartless logic of the super-computer and it's creator. His intellectual western views are radical and dangerous in a place like Alphaville. He must use his wit to stop this super-computer from mastering the entire universe.

Although I have not read George Orwell's "1984" in years, I could not help to see parallels between Orwell's novel and this particular Godard film. Although the plot summary was different there were similarities in the ideology of the "Big Brother" ran government in Oceania and the computer ran society in Alphaville. The citizens of both Oceania and Alphaville were under constant surveillance and control of the empowering body. In Oceania creative literature was diminished and documentation of empowering history was either destroyed or re-written. In Alphaville, citizens were made to believe that the dictionary was the Bible, forcing only logical thoughts. The dictionaries were controlled updated to the super-computer's ideology, eliminating all words that evoke emotion. Creative literature was also destroyed and not known by the majority of the citizens. In 1984, if you violated a law you disappeared and in Alphaville if you thought "illogically" you were publicly executed. It seems to be evident that Godard was influenced by George Orwell's "1984".

However, I do not believe the delivery of "Alphaville" was as intense and serious as "1984". "Alphaville" had classic comic relief and was not meant to be taken as seriously as the George Orwell novel. This is most evident in the last scene, where Natacha (Anna karina) and Lemmy Caution were driving Lemmy's Ford Galaxy back to planet earth. Everything from the vehicle they were driving, the music playing and the use of the word love had a deliberately cheesy delivery. I do believe that Godard had an important message in this film, but I also feel he tried to make it a bit comical.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

"The Story of Adhele H."

Adhele H. was pathetic and psychotic and Lt. Pinson did not know how to deal with her obsession for him. This is a classic story of a psycho ex-lover that will not let go. I know this story is taken from Adhele's actual diary, it makes me wonder if she would depict herself, even in a diary, as this lamentable. Most people who are insane do not know they are insane, it seems that her diary would not have depicted her actions in such a way as shown. This makes me question the historical accuracy of the film, or atleast where Truffaut obtained his information. Love does make people do crazy things, however, it was clear that Adhele was not a balnced person.

She had people around her that supported her and did not question her motives. The people she lived with thought only the highest of her even though they found out she lied about who she was, saw her stalk Lt. Pinson and witnessed her forcing herself into Lt. Pinson's bride to be family's home. Mr. Saunders acted as her chauffer and took her to places and did not question her motives. They both heard her scream in the middle of the night and never once questioned what was wrong with her. The Saunders seemed to be naive to Adhele's condition. Victor Hugo was also enabling Adhele's behavior, he continued to send her money and only asked her to come home. Finally after Adhele faked a marriage and neglected her dieing mother he only sent her money to go home. She used the money to follow Lt. Pinson to his next location.

Overal I found this film to be a typical biography of an unstable person in history. I did not find it thought provoking and did not exactly care for it.

"Pierrot Le Fou"

Karina's character is extremely complex and Ferdinand falls in love with these complexities. He is bored with his extremely cosmopolitan yuppie life style. His wife was an average woman and fell into the trap of advertisements as did the other people he met. One of my favorite scenes of the film is when Godard depicts Ferdinand's early associates at his in laws parent's house. Everyone at the party was a walking an talking advertisement, the men talked about cars as if they were sales people trying to sell them, and the woman talked about hygiene and hair products. One woman, in the middle of the men's car conversation, talked about her deodorant. It was extremely humorous yet relative to everyday life. Many people talk about material "things" more than they have actual conversations about life, love, literature, ect. I understood and sympathised with Ferdinand's decision to run off with Marianne. His plastic world was starting to become mundane and non-interesting, and Marianne was the complete opposite.

The second scene with Marianne was extremely odd, but set the base for the rest of the movie. She began to sing and said "stand up dead man"when there was an actual murdered man on her bed. Marianne seemed completely innocent, but her apartment was filled with guns and pictures of rebels. This showed Marianne's complexities and oddities, she was killing hit men that were after her, while seeming completely loving and innocent.

I never trusted Marianne with Ferdinand and was simply waiting for the time she was going to use him and or leave him. She ended up doing both which ultimately led to her death. It was extremely evident that Godard and Anna Karina just got through their divorce. It seemed as if Godard was representing his relationship with Karina to Ferdinand's relationship with Marianne. I do not know the details of Karina and Godard's relationship, but it seemed that this film was very revealing and may of paralleled the Godard's situation.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

"Le Bonheur"

Agnes Varda dealt with an incredibly contemporary subject matter in a still traditional time. The love triangle between Francois, his wife and the postal worker was through the majority of the film depicted as acceptable behavior. Francois' happiness and the good mood setting of the film was very eerie. His mood changed from happy to incredibly happy when he started his affair. He loved his wife, but also loved his mistress, and this worked very well for him. He was able to love both women with up most happiness. He was honest with his lover, but his wife was unaware of the affair. His conscious finally told him to be upfront with his wife and tell her the truth about his second life. Her initial reaction was incredibly progressive and open minded; as she accepted the affair as long as Francois was happy. Francois believed this reaction was honest and made love to his wife for the last time.

When he woke up he discovered she was no longer laying next to him, so he frantically looked for her. After an intense scene of Francois' search, we discover that she has committed suicide in a near by pond. The film shows a brief mourning process and then cuts to Francois marrying the postal worker. It then shows Francois and his new wife doing the exact same things him and his previous wife did. Him and the children seemed to have forgotten her and simply replaced her. These last scenes made me incredibly uncomfortable and also left me wondering how one could simply replace the woman they love with the woman that destroyed her.

I believe this was a statement by Agnes Varda protesting the mentality of society at the time. This depicted that woman were simply objects of pleasure and completely replaceable. The eerie exposure and use of death shows the ridiculous and often dangerous mentality of not treating women as an equal. This film was incredibly done.